• Institutional Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC)
    (Round -03, QAP No. C-013)

    Leading University, Sylhet

Background

It is an accepted fact that higher education forms the basis of the knowledge society, a comprehensive system of creativity and innovation, which is crucially important for the sustainable socioeconomic development of a nation. Recently, higher education in Bangladesh has experienced a phenomenal growth at least in quantity, doubling in number of tertiary level students from 1.12 million to 2.61 million in last four years. But the quality of education and research could not match the horizontal increase. There is a popular saying that quantity without quality is a sure prescription for disaster, while quality without quantity can act like seeds and at least something to build on. So quality is very important in higher education. The present government headed by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is committed to change the landscape of higher education through enhancement of quality of higher education and research in the country. Her dream has been transformed into reality by her capable education minister Mr. Nurul Islam Nahid through establishment of universities, formation of accreditation council, opening up of channels of cross border higher education and upgrading the University Grants Commission into Higher Education Commission. For achieving the target of quality education the GOB and the World Bank has generously funded the project which is known as Higher Education Quality Enhancement Project (HEQEP). The project is being meticulously implemented by the University Grants Commission, with help of the project officials and that of by the World Bank. Establishment of Quality Assurance Mechanism is one of the major components of HEQEP. The launching ceremony of Quality Assurance Mechanism in Bangladesh through calling for the proposal of Quality Assurance (QAP) and establishing the Institutional Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) in each of the universities has been already in place. Establishment of IQACs at the universities would create an enabling framework to provide quality education.

Introductory

Bangladesh is a developing country and its economy is in transition from traditional agriculture to industry, manufacturing and service sectors. Bangladesh intends to avail the opportunities offered by globalization to build a knowledge society. Improving the quality of its tertiary education is vitally necessary to spur the country to a higher growth trajectory for attaining the middle income status by 2020. The tertiary education in Bangladesh, currently, has been facing many deeply rooted and intertwined challenges. These include, inadequate enabling environment for improving the quality of education and research, weak governance and accountability, poor planning and monitoring capacities, and insufficient funding. All these challenges are compounded by lack of robust academic culture. These drawbacks can only be mitigated by developing a quality culture and ensuring good practices in higher education institutions (HEIs).

The Bangladesh government (GoB) recognizes that the country is at risk of being marginalized in a highly competitive global economy because its tertiary education systems are not adequately prepared to capitalize on the creation and application of knowledge. It also realizes that the state has the responsibility to put in place an enabling framework that would encourage tertiary education institutions to be more innovative and responsive to the demanding needs for rapid economic growth, and to empower the graduates with right skills for successfully competing in the global knowledge economy.

Benefits of IQAC to Different Stakeholders

Universities Academic Staff Students Other stakeholders
Well-functioning QA system Enhanced professional skills and knowledge to provide better teaching learning Improved teaching learning opportunities Improved teaching learning to attain the learning goals Better opportunities for the employers to recruit competent graduates
Improved capacity to assess and evaluate study programs Enhanced capacity to understand the needs of the students and employers Enhanced competitiveness and competencies to meet the job market requirements Enhanced competitiveness of the organizations and business firms
Greater Transparency and accountability in academic management Enhanced capacity to modernize curriculum in response to market demands Enhanced employability with improved quality and image of the university;and Improved image of the country
Readiness for accreditation of study programs Better opportunities for establishing collaborative research network with national and foreign universities; and Enhanced acceptability to reputed universities for further higher studies. Improved competitiveness of the country with innovative and creative human capital
Image building and acceptability of academic exchange Enhanced capacity and effectiveness of professionals engaged in QA. Promote standard of living with ethical practices in social life
Enhanced competitiveness to attract talented Students. Value for money/investment by the parents; and
Improved capacity to address new educational demands and competitive challenges; and Enhanced Peoples’ confidence on higher education.
Improved capacity for producing qualified graduates for the labor market at home and abroad

Source: IQACOM

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Quality is negotiated - QA personnel must learn to work with inter-sectoral partners and develop a more flexible approach to quality (quality assurance and not quality control). QA is about improvement not about punishment, or provocation.QA must take into consideration international benchmarks and global good.

Md. Rezaul Karim

Director, IQAC, Leading University, Sylhet, Bangladesh